Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-century World

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Penguin, 2001 - Human ecology - 421 pages
4 Reviews
In the course of the 20th century the human race, without intending anything of the sort, undertook a giant, uncontrolled experiment on the earth. In time, according to John McNeill in his new book, the environmental dimension of 20th century history will overshadow the importance of its world wars, the rise and fall of communism, and the spread of mass literacy. Contrary to the wisdom of Ecclesiastes that there is nothing new under the sun, McNeill sets out to show that the massive change we have wrought in our physical world has indeed created something new. To a degree unprecedented in human history, we have refashioned the earth's air, water and soil, and the biosphere of which we are a part.

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User Review  - WildcatJF - LibraryThing

McNeill's approach is unique; he tackles the topic of environmental history through the environmental spheres. He looks at soil separately, then air, water, life, etc. It has a wide breadth of ... Read full review

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User Review  - KeithAkers - LibraryThing

What I learned from this book is that the 20th century is not just "business as usual," much as that term is used in a derogatory way today among environmentalists. Humans really had a very profound ... Read full review

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